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Ivory Coast pledges to send 450 peacekeepers to CAR

Ivory Coast’s Foreign Minister Marcel Amon-Tanoh

PARIS––The foreign minister of the Ivory Coast on Thursday said his country will send 450 troops to the Central African Republic to serve as UN peacekeepers in one of the most demanding missions.

Foreign Minister Marcel Amon-Tanoh made the announcement after Gabon announced last month that it was pulling out its 450-strong contingent from the MINUSCA mission in the Central African Republic.

The foreign minister told reporters at the UN headquarters that “Ivory Coast will soon send a contingent of 450 soldiers.”

High-level sources say the United Nations is also looking for 900 extra troops to support MINUSCA.  The Security Council in November authorized amid fears that the country was sliding toward further violence.

MINUSCA currently has 12,000 troops and police deployed in the impoverished country, which has faced various insurgencies since it exploded into bloodshed after the 2013 overthrow of longtime leader Francois Bozize.

Eyewitnesses say a number of deadly clashes between peacekeepers and militia have been going on in CAR in recent weeks and MINUSCA blue helmets have been accused of widespread allegations of sexual abuse.

The government of Gabon announced it was pulling its troops out following allegations of sex abuse and other misconduct.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.

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